Shoulder pain may originate in the joint itself, or from any of the many surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. Such a mobile joint tends to be more susceptible to injury. Shoulder pain can stem from any number of things: dislocation, a pinched nerve, overexertion, tendonitis from overuse, joint instability. X-rays and MRIs are typically needed to help your doctor get a better idea of just what is causing the shoulder pain.
With most cases, shoulder pain will go away by itself in time. Anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve the pain, as well as exercise and stretching. For cases in which nerve roots or the spinal cord are involved, surgical procedures may be necessary. Your doctor can tell you which is the best course of treatment for you.